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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Jun 30, 2014 8:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 6/29/84 - The 1984 Project

Submitted for your review and approval. Or possibly just a minor diversion in an otherwise brain numbing Monday. A day late ......spent the day at the beach and the pool with Mrs. Mando and the chilluns....

33. 6/29/84 – Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

a. Bertha – Takes a little getting used to the brightness and hiss of the AUD, but once you have it set right, it’s very listenable. Safe zone tune, mixed well, you can hear everyone well. Off to a good start.
b. Greatest Story Ever Told – Another good tune. Phil and Bobby sound really good. You may have to play with Eq settings to get the hiss out. Haven’t really heard Brent’s keys yet, but his backing vocals sound okay.
c. They Love Each Other – Jerry’s riffs sounded good. Keys show up bright and jangly, with an occasional chime tossed in. Hard to get excited about this one – but it was a safe tune.
d. C.C. Rider* – Can finally hear Brent well in the mix. A nice and raucous version. Bobby tears his solo up and Jer’s riffs are equally smokin’.
e. Bird Song* – The chimey accents at the end of measures where the mix drops down low are a horrible idea. No. Really. Fortunately, Jerry takes over the 7 minute long middle jam and drops down a really tasty sequence. Despite the chimes, this was a good tune.
f. Hell In A Bucket – Energy level stays high with this one. I don’t like it all that much, but it seemed to be a crowd favorite.
g. West L.A. Fadeaway – Mix is very muddy and Jerry’s otherwise hot licks get swallowed up.
h. The Music Never Stopped* – Mix is sorted out a bit better. Jerry’s solos are solid. Bobby complements him very well and the crowd roars its approval multiple times. A very well played version.
i. Don’t Ease Me In* – Kind of refreshing that the crowd took a while to settle down coming out of TMNS. Nice B3 keys, Phil stomping around. Brent nails his keys. Jerry’s vocals sound strong. Pretty cool to hear the crowd singing along in several spaces.
j. Scarlet Begonias – Definitely not the expected 80s pace. Glad to hear Brent came out with B3 keys. Jer’s vocals sound pretty good, but there are signs of cracking. Drums are washed together. Clearly the crowd is enjoying the tune. The middle jam up through the final verse was well done. Not sure why Brent decided to shift to a more pipe organ sounding effect. It wasn’t too bad though. Transition jam was all over the place. Sounds like a bit of an arm wrestling match before settling into Touch. Not so sure about this experiment, but there have been several in 84.
k. Touch of Grey – Very loose and a touch sloppy. Jer is sliding through the vocals. Tempo seems a touch quick. Jangly chimes don’t help much, but they aren’t overdone.
l. Dear Mr. Fantasy – Brent’s keys sound pretty darn good with Jer’s riffs in the background. I think this tune calls for a little better vocal delivery than either Brent or Jerry were capable of. It wasn’t bad, but at times it sounded forced.
m. Women Are Smarter – They sure are. Women don’t like this tune either.
n. Drums – Time to pee.
o. Space* – The Other One them noodle almost from the beginning of the song. Percussion effects were interesting sounding. Like drops of water falling into tuned buckets. Yeah I know, doesn’t make sense to me either. Abrupt shift to Wheel theme around 6:00. What are we going to get? I liked it.
p. The Wheel – I really like this song when Jerry solos his way into it with the other guys joining in. Seemed like it took the crowd a minute or two to recognize the transition was over and the tune had started. Clearly some did as you can hear them clapping – in time. Jerry gets a little loose going into the first verse, but for the most part, sounded really good. Just a touch too much jangle and chimes on the keys. Vocal mix is a mess. Otherwise, not too bad.
q. The Other One* – Jerry blazes his way into this one, and Phil is very much present. Bobby’s rhythm sounds good. Drummers are washed out and you can barely hear Brent’s electric piano. Closing jam starting around 5:00 sounds very good, but is occasionally washed out by hot cymbals. Bobby is using his light saber rhythm technique. There is some welcome separation between Billy and Mickey, but it’s a chore pulling it out. Everyone gets untracked at 7:15 and it gets frenetic. Good version....for the 80s.
r. Black Peter* – Jerry fairly drips his notes all over this one. Brent throws in some B3 exclamation points on top of Jer’s wanderings. Everyone else sounds a touch subdued and what we get is a pretty solid, 80s Black Peter. The transition was a mess. I heard a feeble attempt at Goin Down the Road that was pimp slapped.
s. Around and Around – I’ll take awkward, choppy out of tune transitions for $800 Alex. Jerry is in full on clam chowder mode. Rough start. Bobby’s going to do his ridiculous whisper screeching. I am looking for cotton to stuff in my ears. Brent lays down a nice sequence at 2:45 and then blows up into the key change. Yeah it’s a very safe song, but it still sounds extra good when it’s played well.
t. Johnny B. Goode* – Whiplash inducing transition. What in Hell’s half acre is Jerry doing? He’s like a roller coaster about to jump the tracks. Good thing Phil is holding everyone together. Brent breaks out a smokin solo at 2:30. This one was a lot of fun for everyone there.
u. US Blues – Lots of energy in this one. Keys sound good, Jerry’s vocals are strong, drums are washed out, but by now we’re used to the source. Phil is well up in the mix and Jerry and Bobby are playing very well off each other. You can hear the crowd hollering their approval with whistles and screams and whoops. Good tune to end an above average show.

Listening to this show was a challenge because of the source. It took some fiddling to get the levels set right to eliminate as much hiss as possible, but it was still hissy and washed out at times. An overall decent show, no real bombs, a good number of show standouts. Well above far.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jun 30, 2014 6:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 6/29/84 - The 1984 Project

I reviewed this show a while back. I think we mostly agree.

06-29-84 - Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

1: Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told, They Love Each Other, CC Rider-> Bird Song, Hell In A Bucket, West L.A. Fadeaway, The Music Never Stopped-> Don't Ease Me In

2: Scarlet Begonias-> Touch Of Gray-> Dear Mr. Fantasy-> Women Are Smarter-> Drums-> The Wheel-> The Other One-> Black Peter-> Around & Around-> Johnny B. Goode, E: U.S. Blues

Sources: Set 1: [url][/url]; Set 2: [url][/url]

This is a great ’84 show with a big aggressive sound and a formidable set list. The first set is a mediocre audience recording (almost no bass at all), but the second comes from a nice crispy Charlie Miller soundboard. Jerry’s voice is pretty good for the era with only a few minor lyrical flubs, and his playing is exceptional throughout. I can only imagine how great that must have sounded at this beautiful outdoor amphitheater. This is the first Ohio show in two and a half years, and the first of only two ever at the beautiful Blossom Music Center just south of Cleveland.

The band charges out of the gate with a brisk version of Bertha, and the pace carries over into a really hot GSET. Jerry clearly came to play today. They continue with a fine reading of TLEO, featuring rapid flourishes during Jerry’s solos. The Bob blues slot goes to CC Rider, and Jerry turns what might have been a forgettable cover into an event. Jerry is taking no prisoners and transitions quickly in Bird Song – in my opinion, one of the real highlight songs from the early-to-mid-80’s. This is a good one, but not a real barn-burner. Next up is the still relatively new-ish Hell in a Bucket, followed by another classic 80’s tune, West LA Fadeaway. Music Never Stopped really amps up the latter portion of this set, and a spritely Don’t Ease finishes things off.

The soundboard source for set two makes this seem like a completely different show, and makes me wonder how much that affected my enjoyment of set one, which I actually liked quite a bit. Still, this is a big upgrade for set two, and Jerry’s voice once again sounds all together at the get-go. Phil is still pretty much a non-factor though. Maybe it’s just the mix. When I turn up the bass all I hear is more kick drum.

The early jamming in Scarlet is loose and fun, but nothing extraordinary, but it gets real bubbly and nice during the outro jam, with Brent adding some nice color behind Jerry’s improvisations. The transition to Touch is a really nice surprise, though they’d already done it twice on the west coast tour. Touch also leads to different pre-drums territory than a really spicy Fire on the Mountain might have. Instead of big jam like Playin or Estimated, we’re left with Dear Mr. Fantasy and Women R Smarter. But there’s no need to complain when they’re playing this well, and they pull off this rather underwhelming combo admirably. The transition from Touch into Fantasy is actually pretty cool and is the only time they did that to my knowledge. Fantasy also happens to be one of my favorite Brent tunes. This one does everything it should, featuring great vocals from Mr. Mydland and ample amounts of distorted Jerry shreddage. Women is fine, but they’re clearly not prepared to launch into outer space yet.

The Wheel floats nicely out of space, with the band providing nice textures behind Jerry’s meandering leads. Bob’s harmonies sound off. This version sounds a little flat, but it’s nice enough, and it quickly segues into the Other One. Phil seems to have woken up for the post-space portion of the show, and this 9-minute Other One ain’t too shabby for the era. Jerry is still playing pretty well, though he seems to have trouble getting the band to follow him into the dark places. Not wasting any time, Jerry shifts gears immediately after the second verse and heads on into Black Peter. Jerry’s voice is still pretty solid, and he sings this number with a lot of heart. Bob’s harmonies sound flat again. Thank goodness for Brent. By Around and Around Bob just sounds flat out drunk. Yikes! Standard JBG closer and US Blues encore. No post-drums highlights unfortunately.

Highlights: TLEO, Music No Stop, Scarlet> Touch> Fantasy